The Dejarites are a race of near-humans notable for being one of the three intelligent species native to the gas giant known as Shuroa, located in a section of the galaxy between Unification and Coalition space. Telltale signs include their vibrant red skin and small horns. Biology
Dejarites follow the typical body plan of near-human species and reach between 5’5 and 6 feet in height. Skin tone ranges from red to pink in various shades and sometimes spotted patterns, while their blood is an orange-yellow that turns the color of rust upon coagulation. Hair is most commonly black, but beyond the scalp and brow it is completely absent from the rest of their bodies. Typical weight in males is usually around 57 kg, while the larger females reach 61 kg,
Compared to a Human or Vindian, a Dejarite comes across as shorter and much limber in form. Their ears are conch-shaped and can swivel around independently of each other, letting them pick up sounds from any direction. From their foreheads grow two jet black spiraled horns, slightly longer in the males, that serve for little but threat displays. Their spinal columns extend into long, almost reptilian tails that are partially prehensile, but seldom employed.
It is internally where the Dejarites deviate the most from other humanoid races. Their rib cages are very wide and voluminous, with the sternum developed into a large “shield” of bone. This natural cage serves to protect a heart planted in the middle of the chest alongside the lungs and a reinforced windpipe. Such internal space gives the Dejarites impressive lung capacity, allowing them to hold their breath for lengthy periods of time and communicate across long distances via loud shouting. Outwardly, this structure leaves Dejarites with three pectoral muscles and, in the case of females, three breasts.
A male Dejarite that successfully mates for the first time undergoes a rapid hormone-triggered transformation, gaining in height and muscle in a matter of days until he towers over the females and his face takes on a dark orange hue. The reason behind this change isn’t entirely known, but it is theorized it allowed bonded males to better defend their females in the past. All these physical traits suggest Dejarites might have a biological connection with the other sentient vertebrate species that inhabits Shuroa, the Wuza; research to this day remains inconclusive.
Gestation lasts around 11 Terran months, with triplets being the norm. Sexual maturity is reached at 20 T-years, and the average lifespan rarely exceeds 130Psychology
While well-mannered, Dejarites are noted for being rather self-centered in nature. Males tend to be gregarious, competitive sorts, constantly seeking to prove their worth. By instinct and social upbringing they treat females, even those from other humanoid races, with the utmost respect and submission. However, precisely because of their upbringing, many Dejarite males fully expect foreign females to eventually reward their efforts. specially with physical intimacy, and are offended when this isn't the case. And what’s more, they might treat male individuals with a degree of hostility as they’re perceived as rivals for gaining the females’ favor.
Female Dejarites are much more assertive and domineering than their counterparts, befitting of their status in society. But while they can be reasonable and surprisingly motherly, they can also be quite haughty, having difficulty seeing males from other species as equals; young individuals, pampered since childhood, often develop egos that other races might consider frustrating, frequently demanding praise and attention from their masculine charges.
As most Dejarites have yet to leave Shuroa, great efforts are being taken to educate the population, lest they damage their standing on intergalactic relations before it even begins. Diet
Like other human and near-human species, Dejarites are omnivorous. They tend to herds of roaming cattle-animals for their meat, but also farm and harvest the myriad pseudo-fungal plants so abundant on the Bassinnuun. Fond of crunchy textures, the bulk of their known dishes involves frying or roasting to some degreeSociety
Settled in sprawling cities (Zuulain, “hives”), Dejarite society can be considered feudal with deep matriarchal roots. Males are relatively more numerous, but it is the larger females that comprise the ruling class, holding all positions of power within a hive, including government and economy; their counterparts, consequently, form the military and the entirety of the working class, keeping society running under the females’ watch.
Among the privileges the females possess, the most important is the freedom to choose who they will mate with, which likely started as a birth control method in ages past. Considering their genes an important commodity, every female strives to perfect and perpetuate her bloodline by producing even better offspring, down to carefully examining each and every suitor up to their genetic background. Lineages are an intense source of pride, with high-rank females in particular boasting about the richness in even the smallest drop of their blood.
For the males, this means life is a constant struggle. The moment they are considered adults their one goal becomes to excel at whatever task they’re given, to stand out from other males, in the hopes that a female will notice them and, hopefully, choose them as a mate. The higher a female is in the social ladder, the larger her harem is allowed to be, so competition is fierce and it is not uncommon for males to strike alliances with one another, short as they might be if the situation calls for it. Needless to say this puts males under a lot of stress, and tragic consequences are not unheard of, thought the opinion of many Dejarites is that, while indeed saddening, it clearly means they weren’t strong enough and thus unfit to become suitors.
The Dejarite family unit is complex, consisting of a single breeding female, her multiple mates, their collective offspring, and additional servants. Child rearing is carried over by all the adults and progeny of age, but the mother will specially focus her attention and doting to her female children, while males are taught from an early age to be self-sufficient, in order to prepare them for the hardships they’ll face upon adulthood.
Among females there exists a clear caste system, starting from the numerous Tuvisi (“Handmaidens”) to the middle-class Thorisi (“Princesses”) and the Tarsola (“Hive Mother”) who rules over an entire hive. In turn, everyone answers to a Mataisessi (“Queen”) that holds authority over, and is often the mother of, most if not all the Hive Mothers in a given Bassinnuun. The collective of Queens across Shuroa essentially makes up the government among the Dejarites, relying messages to one another and taking decisions as they see fit. Language
Dejarite language is characterized for its fluting, almost song-like quality. Words and sentences are alternatively brief or drawn out depending on the mood the speaker intends to express, and there is a tendency to add compound adjectives to otherwise simple concepts in a manner that seems grandiose. Though most races can learn it, a special training is often required to maintain and exhale breath according to the circumstances. Religion and spirituality
Living in “lands” so drastically separated from each other resulted in the Dejarites developing different cultures and beliefs as they thrived across Shuroa, and plenty of cultural cross-pollination as they further united and interaction with the Wuza and Matula grew.
The most widespread belief, having grown in popularity in recent ages, tells of goddesses that created the world and all its wonders, but that eventually abandoned it, or perhaps died. The descendants they left behind became the first Dejarites, and the blood coursing in their veins is magical - rich, powerful, akin to the divine. Each Dejarite hive reveres its ancestors, and can trace their lineage back to some majestic Queen of ages past. When faced by adversity, they will call upon their legendary blood to bless them and see them through trials. While it cannot be said Queens and Hive Mothers worship their predecessors, they certainly attempt to emulate them, through wisdom and personal pride, until they finally join them in the life beyond death.Culture
For many races, a simple glance is enough to interpret Dejarite society as stressful and hectic. It comes to no surprise, then, that much of their recreational culture revolves around escapism and relief.
Music is extremely enjoyed in both vocal and instrumental form, and they are certainly talented for it with their impressive lung capacity. Dejarite-made tunes are characterized by their soothing, ambient feel, and it is not uncommon for males to own instruments, or even song recordings, to play whenever possible in order to prepare for, or wind down from, the day’s pressures. Oral tradition is also strong, but enjoying them as a non-Dejarite is essentially an acquired taste as most of their popular stories invariably revolve around the glorious deeds of past female leaders.
Native fungus-plants are an important industry within Dejarite society, whether for gastronomical, medicinal, or decorative purposes, but the fact many species produce psychoactive toxins as a natural defense is also exploited in the form of recreational drug use. Their long-term negative effects on the Dejarite organism has such practices largely banned, but in certain societies it is wholly embraced, albeit still keeping a strict control within special designated domes.
Thanks to the influence of the Matula, many Dejarites have developed a liking for recreational hunting, and gladiatorial combat has become an increasingly popular sport among the populace. It also serves a role beyond entertainment, for it allows males to impress the females as well as vent their frustrations, and females to evaluate the physical fitness of possible mates.
Dejarites wear light clothing, on account of Shuroa’s hot weather, but females make frequent use of wide, brightly coloured dresses to show off their status, the symbols of their lineage woven all over in intricate patterns. The introduction of silk secreted by Matula females gave way to clothing of a much finer quality, and to this day it makes their most popular export.
Since the galaxy was opened to them, the discovery that most races in the galaxy have different courtship rituals and sexual drives has had its effect on the Dejarites. Among those that left Shuroa there are counted cases of individuals pursuing inter-racial relationships, or family groups that have “gone outsider” and broken away from their social system to pursue their dreams and have children without distinction of classes or agonizing mate selection. Among those that remain home, changes vary from disgust at the discarding of traditions, to those who find it a morbid, even tempting curiosity.History
Like the Wuza and Matula, the Dejarites came to be on the gas giant known as Shuroa, more specifically in the ecosystems that developed on the backs of the titanic lifeforms known as Bassinnuun . And like so many near-human races, there are little records on the origins before their earliest tribal societies. How exactly they developed, while the Matula and Wuza have clear evolutionary records, is still unknown. How the Bassinnuun themselves came to be is an even bigger mystery; sophontologists and biologists alike consider Shuroa one of the most notable puzzles in the known galaxy, while the speculative types consider this as more proof that many of the existing races might be artificial in nature.
What is known about Dejarite history is that its early ages were ones of advancement and conflict. As they learned to cross from Bassinnuun to Bassinnuun and the different hives discovered each other, many leaped straight into war, determined to protect the purity of their blood. While relations with the Wuza tribes continued to increase, the Matula persistently hunted both species, consuming their meat and making trophies of their bones.
This, however, would be the spark to bring about the idea of peace. As the battles prolonged and the Matula grew ever bolder in their predations, the Dejarites were finally forced to set aside their differences and, allying themselves with the Wuza, initiated a campaign of retribution against their common enemy. All across Shuroa, the hunters became the hunted and were eventually bested. But rather than exterminating them, the stories said, the Queens offered the Matula a simple bargain: All they needed to survive in return of total submission. Having accepted defeat, the Matula took the offer, and at long last, peace was achieved. Under the leadership of the Dejarites, all three races reached a new age of prosperity and order they could all savor equally.
Despite being more advanced that their neighbours, Dejarite technology is very primitive in comparison to other races in the galaxy, and continues to do so even now the galaxy has noticed them. The curious location of Shuroa, in a gray area between Unification and Coalition space, has led to a sort of unspoken competition between both factions over who wins the inhabitants over. For now, the Relanda Thuh space station silently orbits the gas giant, serving as a bridge between the former and the rest of the galaxy for trade and people to come and go.
Just what exactly awaits the Dejarites and their allies in the vast new world, only time will tell.
A new race that ~Gorger
and myself have created for #LegacyVerse